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Member of organized cybercrime ring sentenced to 150 months in prison for selling stolen and counterfeit credit cards

Washington, April 9 – A member of the identity theft and credit card fraud ring known as “Carder.su” has been sentenced to 150 months in federal prison for selling stolen and counterfeit credit cards over the Internet. He was further ordered to pay $50.8 million in restitution.

Jermaine Smith, aka “SirCharlie57,” aka “Fairbusinessman,” 34, of East Orange, NJ, pleaded guilty in October 2014 to one count of participating in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization.   

During his guilty plea, Smith admitted that in May 2009 he became associated with the Carder.su organization, a criminal enterprise whose members trafficked in compromised credit card account data and counterfeit identifications, and committed money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and various types of computer crime. Specifically, Smith admitted that he operated as a vendor on the organization’s websites, using the “SirCharlie57” and “Fairbusinessman” nicknames. While acting as a vendor under those online monikers, Smith sold counterfeit credit cards to an undercover special agent. In addition to the sale of the counterfeit credit cards, Smith admitted that he possessed over 2,150 stolen credit and debit card account numbers. 

“Criminal cyber organizations like Carder.su threaten not just U.S. citizens but people in every corner of the globe,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Managers in Russia seamlessly ran their criminal enterprise online using, among others, a counterfeit card vendor from New Jersey, with whom they communicated through screen name aliases. The success in this case was achieved through equally seamless cooperation with our foreign law enforcement partners and effective use of the RICO statute. As more countries work with us to fight these organizations, we will continue to evolve to meet this growing threat.”

While on pretrial release in this case, Smith removed an electronic monitoring device from his person and fled to Jamaica. He was arrested four months later and returned to Nevada.

“Mr. Smith’s crimes were very serious and justify a lengthy prison sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden of the District of Nevada. “He admitted that he caused a loss of seven to $20 million involving over 250 victims, and that he obstructed justice when he fled to Jamaica while released on bond awaiting trial.”

Fifty-six individuals were charged in four separate indictments in Operation Open Market, which targeted the Carder.su organization. To date, 26 individuals have been convicted and the rest are either fugitives or are pending trial, the Justice Department says.  



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